Friday, March 11, 2011

Day 3: The fall – Genesis 3

Now the serpent was craftier than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden. “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

One of the foundational doctrines that separate Lutherans from the rest of Christianity is our understanding of the fall and original sin. We believe that because of original sin inherited from our first parents we are utterly hopeless and unable to do anything to fix our relationship with God in heaven.

When we read through the account of the fall in the third chapter of Genesis, it’s hard to find any redeeming qualities in mankind. Because our fist parents believed the devil’s lie, they put themselves and all of their decedents under captivity to sin and death. They traded in their perfect relationship with the Father for one of slavery under the devil.

In the same way we daily fall victim to the devils lies and find ourselves trapped in sin. But the third chapter of Genesis does not leave mankind in perpetual captivity to death and the devil. Instead there we receive for the first time a promise of deliverance, a first word of Gospel. “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (3:15).

God gives our first parents and us a promise that we will be rescued by a “woman’s seed,” according to the Hebrew. And that Seed is none other than Jesus Christ who was born of a woman and bruised his heel by suffering a sinner’s death on the cross. But the Father vindicated Christ by raising him from the dead to prove that the serpent’s head has been crushed for good. This Lenten season meditate on perpetual promise of the Gospel that has been with us since our first parents and continues to sustain us from birth to death.
-Brian Flamme

Almighty Father, You have given us the promise of salvation in Your Son Jesus. Grant that through you Spirit we stay strong in faith so that we may have everlasting life with you.
Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS permission granted for personal and congregational use.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved

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